Since March 2020, the team at AID FOR AIDS Dominican Republic (AFA DR) has been increasing its efforts to diagnose HIV among the Haitian immigrant community regardless of their legal status. This has been done through home visits scheduled under the FHI360 project in partnership with USAID. Besides performing HIV testing, the team have also provided participants with food, medicines and biosafety materials.
Under the program, people diagnosed with HIV had been referred to public health centers. However, the participants’ irregular legal status led us to speed up the inauguration of our Comprehensive Assistance Center to provide health services to this community who otherwise would not have access to care. The center has been operating since December 2020 and so far, we have succeeded in diagnosing 180 cases of HIV, signifying over a 100% increase in cases compared to the past year.
As the Director of AFA Dominican Republic, Maritza Valenzuela, expressed, “It fills us with joy and satisfaction to know that our actions have paid off and that we can help many more people”.
On another note, AID FOR AIDS Panama has been working with the Panamanian Social Development Chamber and the Panamanian Food Bank since May 2020 by distributing $31,788.66 worth of food support to 240 people on a monthly basis as response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We will never stop working for our program participants, ensuring we can provide them with comprehensive and effective services to improve their quality of life.